Tomorrow’s Edisons and Zukerbergs get creative at BT’s Innovation & Mentoring Skills Camp

March 4th 2013

BT Business Bootcamp 2013 welcomes Ireland’s brightest young business minds to University College Dublin

The BT Young Scientist Business Bootcamp 2013 begins today at University College Dublin.  The four day innovation and skills camp brings together 30 second-level students from across the island of Ireland who demonstrate an ability to understand how and why a simple idea can be developed into a commercially-viable enterprise. The students were selected in January 2013 from nearly 1,200 secondary school students who competed in this year’s BT Young Scientist & Technology Exhibition at the RDS (Royal Dublin Society) in Dublin.

The programme, delivered in partnership with UCD Innovation is taking place at NovaUCD, the home of innovation. The programme aims to bridge the gap between education and business for students who demonstrate entrepreneurial flair and business acumen.

Shay Walsh, Managing Director, Business, BT Ireland, commented, “In creating the BT Business Bootcamp, our objective was to identify students who demonstrated a natural flair for business and connect them with key business leaders who could impart the knowledge and expertise required to bring them to the next level. Over the course of the programme, our selected students will be given the skills and know-how to transform their innovative business ideas into commercially viable ventures and we look forward to watching their progression in the coming days and indeed years to come”.     

Professor Peter Clinch, UCD Vice-President for Innovation said, “UCD is delighted to be working in partnership with BT to deliver this exciting entrepreneurship programme. This programme is critically important in embedding a culture of entrepreneurship amongst talented second-level students who are inspired by science, technology, engineering and mathematics. It is fitting that the programme takes place at NovaUCD, our Centre for New Ventures and Entrepreneurs, and I hope that the students will soak up the entrepreneurial atmosphere of the Centre during their week with us.”

Mentors on the BT Business Bootcamp programme this week include;

  • Caroline Gill, Innovation Education Manager, University College Dublin
  • James Whelton, Founder, CoderDojo
  • Paddy Cosgrave, Founder, Dublin Web Summit
  • Dan Richardson, Business Development, Intellectual Ventures
  • Jia-Yan Gu, BT Research and Innovation
  • Paul Maher, Strategic Manager, Analog Devices
  • Conor Lynch ,CEO, and

Students taking part in the BT Young Scientist Business Bootcamp will be tasked with a specific group project (from the list outlined below) to develop an outline business approach for a new business start-up scenario. Each team will work with a dedicated BT business mentor who will coach them to develop their business plans and presentation skills.

  1. The design and development of an improved solar fridge
  2. E.W.O.C.H2.S: early warning of concentrated hydrogen sulphide
  3. Free Feet" a device to reduce freezing of gait in Parkinson's disease
  4. I.C.E - Scan Me (Medical Alert bracelet)
  5. A speech recognition aid to learning
  6. A portable solar panel tracker getting the best out of the sun

The week will culminate on Thursday 7th March 2013 when the teams will present their business plans to a judging panel including academics and senior business people.  Summer placements at NUI Galway, UCD, University of Limerick and University of Ulster will be available for the winners, and one student will be given the opportunity to address this year’s Dublin Web Summit.